Delaware Public Media

Minor flooding, above-average temperature and rain predicted for Delaware this spring

Mar 25, 2019

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) spring flood outlook shows extensive flooding is expected to continue in the middle of the country.  The First State faces a milder forecast.

 


Delaware has a more than 50 percent chance of minor flooding March through May.

“That’s basically for us a normal condition,” said Rob Shedd, a service coordination hydrologist with the National Weather Service (NWS). “This time of year is very frequent that we see some sort of flooding going on somewhere in the area across the mid-Atlantic. And that certainly includes Delaware as well.”   

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic states— including Delaware— are projected to have a 50 to 60 percent chance of above-normal temperatures this spring. Shedd says as NWS monitors climate change, higher-than-normal temperatures have been observed across large parts of the country. Shedd says “normals” are based on 1981 to 2010 averages.

The mid-Atlantic also has a 40 to 50 percent chance of above-average precipitation over the next few months. Shedd says precipitation has been trending high in the mid-Atlantic for the past year.

“We’ve had for the past year ... a wet pattern basically across the region,” he said. “We’re continuing to see that a little bit.”

But Shedd cautions forecasts could change. “I’ll be honest,” he said.“Those sorts of forecasts, I have a little bit of hesitation to put too much into them. We can see a lot of variability from those seasonable forecasts as we progress through the year.”

Shedd says the flood forecast is based on factors including soil moisture, river conditions and snow pack— but not coastal flooding.

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